Continental shift

Continental shift

Stuart Barnes says a thrilling, unpredictable weekend saw the Heineken Cup eclipse the World Cup.

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Comments (6)

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John Ludgate says...

I have to agree with Tom O'Dowd...very myopic views by both Barnes and Mallinder regarding Owens' performance. He missed a blatant forwrd pass for Northampton's second try and several illegal sde entries and defense from offside. positions. This isn't to criticize him as much as to say he reffed it as he saw it and anyone can see errors both ways. It's high time commentators like Barnes stopped encouraging this tedious and ridiculous ref-bashing we have developed. recently. In my view anyone who hasn't been a ref should be a little cautious about expressing their arrogant opinionsa. .

Posted 01:10 17th November 2011

Tom O'dowd says...

Once again you must stick the knife into an Irish team. When will you actually stop the ridiculous accusations towards the Irish and focus on your own country? In the Munster Northampton match you will clearly see Northampton coming in the side of every ruck, I've watched the match over again and it is clear to see. Mallinder needs to be very careful with his comments towards Owens as, in fact, Owens was quite lenient towards a lot of the Northampton foul play. Side entry to rucks, non binding by number 1 in the scrum and boring (something only a front row forward would understand Barnes), and constant tackling in the area at line outs. Until Sky replace this terrible, clueless pundit, they will be very average broadcasters.

Posted 09:32 15th November 2011

Stuart Turner says...

I'd love to know the statistics on how many of Munsters HC games Nigel Owens has refereed in the past few seasons. It came to light that in the 2008 season when Munster won the tournament their last two pool games, QF, SF & Final were all refereed by Owens. It shouldn't detract that Munster have been one of the best European sides over the past 12 years. Not sugguesting that there is any bias or anything untoward going on, and is perhaps just a case of not enough top flight refereees? But when a team knows a referee to the point of 75% of their HC games are refereed by him the level of knowing his foibles surely is an advantage?

Posted 09:24 15th November 2011

Mick Collyer says...

You rightly commented on Nigel Owens however his performance overall was poor, was heavily biased towards Munster & he allowed himself to be swayed by the crowd. His decisions at the scrum were poor, he missed a knock on and blocking for 1 of the tries & every 50/50 went Munster's way. As per the world cup final the best team lost due to inept referrering.

Posted 21:23 14th November 2011

Fraser Ross says...

Stuart, Do the wins by Glasgow and Edinburgh over English teams signal the start of better times for the national side? Or is this yet another false dawn?

Posted 19:01 14th November 2011

Malcolm Cupis says...

Barrel, how do you see the situation at Bath? Games this season have seemed very much rugby by numbers. It's reminiscent of the Knuckles approach of 2003...except we don't have the forward power we had then. Players seem to have had initiative coached out of them, or be unwilling or unable to come up with the flash of inspiration required to unlock defences. Do you see this as a transitional phase or do you think there is a more worrying, underlying issue that needs to be addressed?

Posted 13:49 14th November 2011

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